Protective Stadium will be a concert venue for the very first time on Saturday, with a performance by Garth Brooks. The country star is a favorite in Alabama, and more than 45,000 fans are expected for his 7 pm show.
If you’re heading to the stadium in downtown Birmingham, there are several things you need to know. Traffic tends to be heavy at Brooks’ concerts, and although he typically waits to start the show until it clears, you can avoid the crush — and minimize any frustration — by making a game plan in advance.
Stadium address: 1020 24th St. North. Need a couple of landmarks? It’s in Uptown entertainment district, close to Top Golf.
Gates open: 5 pm There’s a FanFest at Uptown from noon to 6 pm, according to the stadium website.
Road closings: Some roads near the stadium will be closed to traffic, starting at 7 am on Friday and lasting through Saturday night. According to a map on the Protective Stadium website, that includes:
- 12th Avenue North between 22nd and 24th Streets North.
- Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard between 22nd and 24th Streets North.
- 23rd Street North loop near Uptown restaurants to the Ninth Avenue North Alley.
- Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North between the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex and the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.
- 22nd Street North between Ninth Avenue North and Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. blvd.
- Ninth Avenue North between 19th Street North and 22nd St. North. (Part of the street is open to pedestrian traffic, but not vehicles.)
Parking lots: Lots in the stadium area open at 7 am on Saturday. Twelve lots and garages are listed on a BJCC map of the area. Parking is $20, card only, according to the Protective Stadium website. BJCC Premier Parking, available to purchase in advance, is $30 plus service charges via Ticketmaster. (Two lots and two garages are listed for Premier Parking on the Ticketmaster site.)
Shuttles: Starting at 2 pm on Saturday, shuttles will pick up concertgoers from parking deck 3 (401 20th St. North), deck 4 (2128 Fourth Ave. North) and deck 5 (2021 Fifth Ave. North), and drop them off near the BJCC East Exhibition Hall. From there, it’s a short walk to the stadium. (See this BJCC map for details.)
ADA access: Shuttle carts are available for folks who need ADA assistance getting to the stadium, starting at 3:30 pm Six pickup and drop-off points are listed on this map on the Protective Stadium website. (More ADA info here.)
Bag policies: Protective Stadium has a clear bag policy similar to those at other stadiums. It’s OK to bring clear plastic bags that are no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, one gallon clear resealable storage bags, small clutch bags, wallets and purses that are no larger than 5 inches by 7 inches. Prohibited bags include backpacks, duffle bags, tote bags, mesh or straw bags, diaper bags, camera cases and purses larger than 5 inches by 7 inches.
Also prohibited: Outside food or drinks, pets, selfie sticks, umbrellas, stadium seats with arms, noisemakers, flags, banners, signs, strollers, hoverboards, weapons, video cameras, traditional cameras with lenses larger than 4 inches.
Stadium entry: There are three gates at the stadium, two off 12th Avenue North (Northwest and Northeast Gate) and one off Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North (South Gate). If you have field access tickets, you must enter through the South Gate and have a wristband, according to the stadium website. (Details on that here and more field access info here.) Folks with stadium seating can enter through any gate. Gate recommendations from the stadium website:
- South Gate: Sections 104-125, 207-225
- Northeast Gate: Sections 126-136, 226-231
- Northwest Gate: Sections 137-146, 240-243
Club level and suite level ticketholders must enter through the Stadium Club Entrance on the West side of the stadium on 22nd Street. There’s a map on the stadium website for seating sections, entrances, stage location, concessions, restrooms, the first aid station and more.
Ticket info: Tickets for Brooks’ concert are $91.70 via Ticketmaster, plus service charges. During a Ticketmaster search on Thursday evening, June 2, single seats were available, scattered throughout the stadium, plus some multiple seats at the top of the upper tier.
Also good to know: The stadium website recommends the Waze app for driving directions, and suggests using the Ticketmaster app to download tickets to your cell phone.
RELATED: 10 Garth Brooks songs you need to know before his stadium show in Alabama